14 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. (Paperback)
The british did not invent caste but they exploited it to the hilt to divide the pluralistic Indian society.
The thesis of the book matters. The thought provoking nature of the book is more valuable than its contents.
Columbia and Chicago are doing a valuable job of undoing or atleast explaining the british (and german) rape on indian history.
A thinking that an objective history can be written, like conducting a laboratory experiment where an observer is independent of the thing that is observed, is a major fallacy . No more attacks of scientific methods on humanities please!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 19, 2010 10:58:14 AM PDT
Timothy M. Waring says:
There is no real name associated with this reply to the previous review, which makes it look very suspicious. The prior review compares Dirks to other authors, and suggests that Dirks is effectively self-contradicting on the issue of whether or not the British "invented" caste. This is a serious concern of scholarship and intellectual honesty. "A Customer" seems quite likely to be Dirks himself, or a loyal defender. Yes, of course, social history is at least partly immune from the scientific method, but that does not allow us to re-create history, or to argue exciting theses just because they are exciting (such as the British 'creating' caste). Instead scholars in the humanities have a responsibility to truth (and not just their own truth), a shared truth, just as much as scientists do. Ultimately 'history' will decide how well Dirks handled a fair explanation of Indian history. I prefer the more complicated but clear " Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age (The New Cambridge History of India).
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 5:44:35 PM PST
Dirks likes to flog the dead British, but rarely comments publicly or unfavorably upon the current caste problems of India.
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